Think tank considers that Brexit is an excuse for the revival of the British ID cards idea
|30th July 2018 |
See article from policyexchange.org.uk
Policy Exchange is a think tank that describes itself as:
The UK's leading think tank. As an educational charity our mission is to develop and promote new policy ideas which deliver better public services, a stronger
society and a more dynamic economy.
And now it has been considering post Brexit visa arrangements and has taken the opportunity to call fro the revival of ID cards, or at least an ID number that can be used for to identify everybody
in official and unofficial databases throughout the world. Policy Exchange writes:
As national borders are being transformed by new technologies and new thinking about how to manage flows of goods and people as quickly
and safely as possible, the UK border needs continuing innovation and reform.
The report's main recommendations include:
Scotland attempts to create a new ID card based upon NHS registration
release from openrightsgroup.org
Government proposals to expand the National Health Service Central Register (NHSCR) will pave the way for a national ID register in Scotland. The proposals have been made public in a little-known consultation that closes at the end of February. Digital
rights campaigners, the Open Rights Group (ORG) believe that the consultation is flawed, misleading and could fundamentally change the relationship between citizen and state.
Open Rights Group Executive Director, Jim Killock said:
Government proposals that jeopardise our right to privacy need proper consideration. The SNP rejected a national ID register when the UK government tried to introduce ID cards. These proposals could pave the way for a
similar scheme in Scotland and are being introduced without a proper debate by the public or MSPs.
Most Scottish citizens already have a unique identity number in the NHS system. This plan is to share this unique
identifier with up to 120 other Scottish public bodies - including Glasgow Airport, the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd. Scottish residents could then be tracked across all their interactions with public bodies, including
your benefits, bus pass travel or library usage.
ORG believes that this is building an ID card system in Scotland and that any such changes should be introduced as primary legislation, which would allow a proper public and
ORG has published its response to the
ORG is also urging its supporters in Scotland to contact their MSPs about the proposals.
|17th February |
UK ID database is reborn
article from computerweekly.com
Now the Home Office has destroyed its prototype ID database in a publicity stunt, the government is putting the finishing touches to plans that would put the real Identity Scheme databases at the heart of a powerful government data sharing system.
The Government Cloud (G-Cloud), an ambitious Cabinet Office scheme to share IT resources and data across the whole of government, is seeking to remove all technical and organisational barriers to public sector data sharing.
Reports published last
week by the Cabinet Office describe how G-Cloud will exhume the data sharing systems that underpinned ID Cards, along with the fatal data security risks that went with them. The principles will be applied to all government data. The plans have been
overseen by the same executives who oversaw the ID Scheme's data-sharing system, the ill-fated CISx.
The principle was established a year ago in the G-Cloud Vision, which was drafted by Martin Bellamy, the same civil servant who advised ministers
to proceed with the CISx as one of two core components of the ID scheme.
Bellamy's Vision cited the CISx as an example of the sort of data sharing that would be possible within the G-Cloud. The CISx plan had involved turning the Department for
Work and Pensions Customer Information System database (CIS), which contains personal details of everyone in the country, into a system that could be accessed across the whole government.
The Home Office said last week its minister Damian Green
had destroyed Labour's ID database. But he only destroyed the temporary system the Home Office erected in a hurry so it could get ID cards on the streets before the 2010 election. It had still not proceeded with integrating the real ID databases because
it was still trying to work out how to resolve their excruciating data security problems.
|11th February |
British ID card database crushed
press release from homeoffice.gov.uk
A database built to hold the fingerprints and personal details of millions of ID card holders has today been publicly destroyed.
Around 500 hard disk drives and 100 back up tapes containing the details of 15,000 early adopters have been
magnetically wiped and shredded.
They will soon be incinerated in an environmentally friendly waste-for-energy process.
This signals an end to the National Identity Register which was built to hold the details of people who applied for an
The scheme was scrapped by the coalition government and the cards ceased to be valid legal documents on 22 January.
Home Office minister Damian Green helped shred the last of the hard disk drives at an Essex industrial site today.
Laying ID cards to rest demonstrates the government's commitment to scale back the power of the state and restore civil liberties, he said: This is about people having trust in the government to know when it is necessary and appropriate
for the state to hold and use personal data, and it is about the government placing their trust in the common-sense and responsible attitude of people. This is just the first step in the process of restoring and maintaining our freedoms.'
|22nd January |
British ID cards no longer valid
press release from homeoffice.gov.uk
As of 22nd January 2011 identity cards can no longer be used to prove identity or to travel in Europe.
The cards have been scrapped by the government under the Identity Documents Act.
Within days the National Identity Register - which was
designed to hold the details of card holders - will be destroyed.
Immigration minister Damian Green said:
Laying ID cards to rest demonstrates the government's commitment to scale back the power of the
state and restore civil liberties.
It is about the people having trust in the government to know when it is necessary and appropriate for the state to hold and use personal data, and it is about the government placing
their trust in the common-sense and responsible attitude of the people.
The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) (new window) has written to all existing cardholders and informed international border agencies, travel operators
and customers of the change in law.
|23rd December |
Labour's ID card scheme now officially trashed
Based on article from telegraph.co.uk
Labour's ID cards were officially trashed when the Bill to abolish them received Royal Assent.
The few thousand cards that people bought voluntarily will be cancelled within a month.
In addition, the database holding the biographic
information and biometric fingerprint data of cardholders, known as the National Identity Register, will be physically destroyed within two months.
The ID card scheme was symbolic of the last administration's obsession with control and nannying.
It was put up as a panacea, capable of preventing everything from benefit fraud and illegal immigration to terrorism and organised crime.
|28th May |
UK ID cards set for an early demise
article from theregister.co.uk
ID cards will be history within 100 days, the government said as it published laws to destroy the scheme.
The Home Office, for years tasked with promotion of the project under Labour, said it aims to pass the Identity Documents Bill before the
Parliamentary recess starts in August.
It is the first legislation introduced by the ConDem coalition. Both parties campaigned against the scheme at the election.
The National Identity Register, the database that was set to centrally store
an array of personal information about every British citizen, will also be consigned to the political dustbin. The next generation of biometric passports, which would also have fed the National Identity Register, will be scrapped in separate legislation.
The wasteful, bureaucratic and intrusive ID card scheme represents everything that has been wrong with government in recent years, said Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg: By taking swift action to scrap it, we are making it clear that
this government won't sacrifice people's liberty for the sake of Ministers' pet projects.
A separate ID cards scheme for foreign nationals will go ahead.
|23rd December |
ID cards to be extended to London but are not valid on ferries
article from dailymail.co.uk
The Government's identity-card scheme has been branded a farce last night after it was revealed it will be expanded this week - despite Alistair Darling casting doubt over the future of the project.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson is expected
to announce within the next few days that 16 to 24-year-olds in London will be able to apply for £30 voluntary ID cards.
But the move comes just days after the Chancellor appeared to suggest that he would cut the funding for ID cards.
It also follows a shambolic launch of voluntary ID cards in Liverpool last week when Home Office Minister Meg Hillier turned up to promote them, but left hers at home.
article from theregister.co.uk
An early adopter of the UK's
controversial ID card was refused passage when he tried to board a ferry to Rotterdam.
Norman Eastwood and his wife had booked a passage from Hull with P&O Ferries on Saturday. The ID card, which has been offered on a voluntary basis to the
public in Greater Manchester as part of a limited trial since last month, is meant to allow travel across Europe as an alternative to a passport.
However P&O staff at check-in had never seen the card before and didn't know it was a valid
travel document. The unfortunate Eastwood was told he would need his passport - which he had left at home - to travel.
We had no idea the ID card was being trialled, a P&O spokesman explained. Mr Eastwood turned up with a form of ID
we didn't recognise. He was told that he wasn't going anywhere without a passport.
Eastwood was left with little option but to abandon Xmas shopping plans and head home, some 105 miles away. He told the BBC that the incident left him feeling
humiliated and like a second-class citizen .
The ferry firm has offered Eastwood free ferry tickets and an apology for the mix-up. P&O has informed staff at all its UK ports about the ID card in order to prevent a repetition of the
In a statement, the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) said: We have a standard and well established process for informing border agencies and carriers around the world of any change to international travel documents, which we
followed in this case. We are speaking to P&O to understand why this happened and ensure that there can be no repeat of it.
|15th October |
First British ID cards go to Home Office staff
article from independent.co.uk
Phil Woolas, the Immigration minister, faced ridicule last night after announcing that his own civil servants would be the first Britons to be issued with identity cards. He told MPs that applications for the £30 cards could be made by UK nationals
from next Tuesday.
Woolas added: This will apply to people working in the Home Office, the passport service and elsewhere, who are engaged on work relating to the issue of identity cards.
The scheme will be extended by the end of the
year to residents of Greater Manchester and airside workers at Manchester and London City airports. Next year people across the North-west of England will be invited to apply for cards.
Damian Green, the shadow Immigration minister, said: This
would be funny if it wasn't so expensive for the taxpayer. The Government is reduced to selling ID cards to its own staff in a desperate bid to prove that someone, somewhere, thinks that they would benefit from the identity card scheme.
A David for this surveillance Goliath?
See also article from
guardian.co.uk by Henry Porter
Before the Conservative party conference I questioned the party's commitment to liberty, but I have to concede that there is some sign that
David Cameron has taken on board the arguments being made here and elsewhere. In a part of his conference speech that was not well covered he said: To be British is to be sceptical of authority and the powers-that-be. That's why ID cards, 42 days and
Labour's surveillance state are so utterly unacceptable, and why we will sweep the whole rotten edifice away.
|2nd August |
Alan Johnson unveils final design for British ID card
article from news.bbc.co.uk
Home Secretary Alan Johnson has unveiled the final design of the British national identity card.
The card will be offered to members of the public in the Greater Manchester area from the end of this year. Volunteering for a car will also incur a
lifetime of having to keep the state informed of address changes etc under duress of enormous fines.
Ministers plan to launch the £30 biometric ID card nationwide in 2011 or 2012 - but it will not be immediately compulsory.
Opposition spokesmen said it was a
colossal waste of money and civil liberty groups said it was as costly to our pockets as to our privacy.
Ministers say the card, which follows the launch of the foreign national ID card, will provide an easy way of safely proving
The card is very similar in look to a UK driving licence but holds more data, including two fingerprints and a photograph encoded on a chip. This chip and its unique number in turn links the card to a national identity register which,
under current legislation, will hold more information about the identity of the individual.
If the scheme goes ahead, the card could be used as a travel document within Europe, separate to the passport, similar to arrangements between other EU
Like the UK passport, the front of the card displays the royal crest as well as the thistle, the rose, the shamrock and the daffodil to represent the four parts of the UK.
No2ID, a national pressure group, is launching a
counter-campaign across North-West England to derail the Home Office's plan. Dave Page, from the organisation, said: Once you are on that database, you can never come off it.
From the moment you're registered you'll have to tell the
authorities of any change in your circumstances for the rest of your life - and pay whatever fees they ask for the 'service'.
You'll never know who's looking at your details. It won't protect our safety. It won't be convenient - except for
Whitehall. This scheme is an expensive and dangerous con.
|7th July |
MPs increase the cost of ID cards to £1000 for some holders
article from guardian.co.uk
MPs have approved fines of up to £1,000 for those who fail to tell the passport and identity service of changes in their personal details including address, name, nationality and gender.
The fines are part of a package of secondary
legislation being pushed through parliament designed to implement the national identity card scheme, and which will allow sensitive personal data on the ID card/passport database to be shared with the police, security services and other government
The regulations were approved as the Conservative party made clear for the first time their commitment to scrap not only the identity card scheme but also its underlying database.
The shadow home secretary, Chris Grayling,
told MPs: One of the first acts of a Conservative government will be cancelling the ID cards scheme. The scheme and the register are both an affront to British liberty and will have no place in a Conservative Britain. They are also a huge waste of
The Conservatives' home affairs spokesman, Damian Green, asked how the scheme could be voluntary when they were penalties for failing to provide information for the database: If it is a voluntary card, why are there penalties
attached for failing to provide that information? he said, adding that the government should warn people that once they volunteer for a passport or ID card it was then compulsory for the rest of their lives.
Fines starting at
£125 and rising to £1,000 are to be levied on those who fail to notify the authorities of a change of name or address, or to surrender an identity card, or to report a card lost, stolen, damaged, tampered with or destroyed.
|2nd July |
£1000 fines for not keeping UK up to date with one's address
Based on article from
Brits who apply for or renew their passport will be automatically registered on the national identity card database under regulations to be approved by MPs in the next few weeks.
The decision to press ahead with the main elements of the national
identity card scheme follows a review by the home secretary, Alan Johnson. Although Johnson claimed the cards would not be compulsory, critics say the passport measures amount to an attempt to introduce the system by the backdoor.
Johnson said he
had halted plans to introduce compulsory identity cards for airline pilots and 30,000 other critical workers at Manchester and London City airports this autumn in the face of threats of legal action. Longer term plans to extend compulsory ID cards
to other transport industries, such as the railways, as a condition of employment have also been scrapped.
But two batches of draft regulations to be approved by MPs tomorrow and next week are expected to include powers to make the passport a designated document
under the national identity card scheme. This means that anyone applying for or renewing their passport from 2011 will have their details automatically added to the national identity databases.
The regulations also include powers to levy a
fine of up to £1,000 on those who fail to tell the authorities of a change of address or amend other key personal details such as a change of name within three months.
Johnson said he wanted to see the introduction of identity cards
accelerated for foreign nationals resident in Britain and for young early adopters for whom they would act as a useful proof of age. This trial is to be extended from Manchester to other parts of the north-west.
Isabella Sankey, director
of policy at the human rights group Liberty, said the home secretary needed to be clear as to whether entry onto the national identity register was going to continue to be automatic when applying for a passport.
If so, the identity scheme will
be compulsory in practice. However you spin it, big ears, four legs and a long trunk still make an elephant, she said.
Guy Herbert of the No2ID campaign said the pressing ahead with making the passport a designated document made a
nonsense of the home secretary's assertion that the scheme was not compulsory: It is not compulsory as long as you don't want to leave the country.
|8th May |
Manchester will be the first town where £60 ID cards are available to volunteers
3rd May 2009. Based on article from
Manchester will be the first city where people can voluntarily sign up for an ID card.
Anyone over 16 in the city who holds a UK passport will be able to apply for a card from the autumn at a cost of £60. People will be able to enrol in post
offices and pharmacies.
The Manchester launch will mark the beginning of the main phase of the ID scheme which ministers say will culminate in cards being available nationwide by 2012.
No mention in the article about whether volunteers
will become liable to nasty fines should they not inform the state about changes of address etc
|8th February |
No budget for ID card readers
Thanks to Donald
Based on article from
This has to be one of the dumbest things I've heard in a long time. The UK has spent £4.4 billion ($6.6bn US) on a controversial high-tech National Identity Card scheme for the whole country. But they forgot one thing. No police or border station,
to say nothing of licensing and job centers, has a machine capable of reading the damn things.
Incredibly, they neglected to include in the budget the absolutely necessary counterpart to the card: the card reader. Like an inexperienced shopper
who buys a digital camera but not a computer to view the pictures on, they are now in possession of a far-reaching and complete ID tracking solution that they can in no way use. What a boondoggle!
The official word is that the reader rollout may
cost taxpayer money (brilliant, Sherlock) and is not really being pursued that actively. While it would make sense to get a few IDs out there first and then follow up with the readers after six months, perhaps, that was not at all included in the budget
and in fact the readers' manufacturers haven't been convinced it's worth their while to make the things.